The TFOS international Dry Eye WorkShop II (TFOS DEWS II), whose report has been published in the July 2017 issue of the Ocular Surface journal, acknowledged that trehalose is an effective ingredient in association with hyaluronic acid for the treatment of dry eye.
Hyaluronic acid has been long known for its hydration and lubrication properties.2 Trehalose is a natural bioprotectant3 and osmoprotectant4, found in numerous plants and animals, to allow cell survival in unfavorable environments.
According to Professor Benitez del Castillo (Spanish Society of ophthalmology and Ocular Surface Specialist), “the association of hyaluronic acid and trehalose can be considered a significant progress in the treatment of moderate to severe dry eye syndrome, acting at the same time on dry eye disease and its clinical symptoms”.
The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) Dry Eye WorkShop II (DEWS II) report is a massive undertaking which lasted over two years involving 150 clinical and basic research experts from 23 different countries. They used an evidence-based approach and a process of open communication, dialogue and transparency to achieve a global consensus regarding multiple aspects of dry eye disease. Full report available here.
The TFOS is a world leader in eye health education, gathering international scientists, clinicians and industry professionals to understand the composition and regulation of the preocular tear film.
Dry eye disease is a very common condition, with a prevalence that ranges between 5 and 50% across the world. Prevalence increases with age, especially in women.5 Symptoms include eye pain, dryness, redness, excessive watering, contact lens discomfort, irritation from wind or smoke, tired eyes, foreign body sensations, blurred vision and photophobia. Dry eye can affect patients’ ability to read and drive.6 It can also sometimes lead to anxiety and depression.5
Dry eye disease can be caused by a variety of factors such as ageing, wearing contact lenses, environmental aspects (staring at screens, pollution), a person’s overall condition (i.e. hormonal changes, menopause), certain medications (anti-acne, certain beta-blockers, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, diuretics and antidepressants) or a patient’s medical history (eye lid inflammation, lasik surgery).
1 TFOS DEWS II report, The Ocular Surface 15 (2017)
2 Necas et al, Hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan): a review, Veterinarni Medicina, 53. 2008 (8): 397–411.
3 Jain NK, Roy I. Effect of trehalose on protein structure. Protein Sci. 2009; 18 (1): 24-36.
4 Corrales RM, Luo L, Chang EY, Pflugfelder SC. Effects of osmoprotectants on hyperosmolar stress in cultured human corneal epithelial cells. Cornea. 2008; 27 (5): 574-9.
5 TFOS DEWS II, Epidemiology Report, Ocular Surface 2017, 334-368.
6 Miljanovic B, Dana R, Sullivan DA, et al. Impact of dry eye syndrome on vision-related quality of life. Am J Ophthalmol. 2007; 143:409-15